A three-minute exchange with a delusional voter shows Mike Pence’s challenge: He has to convince Republicans living in a fantasyland to vote for him in this reality.
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If you have three minutes and want to know why Mike Pence won’t be president, all you have to do is watch this video of him having to defend his decision not to commit treason.
There are plenty of other reasons, of course, but none weigh as heavily as the fact that the very people whose votes he needs (falsely) believe that Donald Trump would still be president if it weren’t for Pence’s refusal to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
That’s completely bonkers, of course, but in the alternate reality that Trump and his allies have spent years creating, it makes perfect sense to claim that Pence somehow betrayed his boss.
“If it wasn’t for your vote, we would not have Joe Biden in the White House,” a female voter is heard saying in the video.
It is unclear which vote she is talking about. On January 6, 2021, when Congress certified the results from each state, Pence did not get to vote on anything. As president of the Senate, he merely filled a ceremonial role.
Perhaps the voter in the video was referring to his decision not to allow himself to get hanged, which is what some of the Trump supporters storming the Capitol that day were calling for.
In any case, pointing out that “we all know who won that election,” she asked Pence if he ever second-guesses himself for not taking an action that never was available to him in the first place. Presumably, she meant Trump, which is obviously delusional.
Instead of calling this woman an idiot, which probably would have been appropriate, Pence goes on to calmly and respectfully explain reality to her.
“It is an issue that continues to be misunderstood,” Pence tells the audience of a few dozen people at a campaign event in Iowa.
“I know by God’s grace that I did exactly what the Constitution of the United States required of me that day,” the former vice president added accurately and truthfully to a smattering of applause.
Pence then launched into a small civics lecture on how elections work to which the voter proved she was not overly receptive by interrupting him.
The former vice president also explained that Trump lost virtually all of his election challenges in court, which may or may not have been news to many people in the audience.
In any case, he notes that his hands were tied (figuratively, not literally, which is what the mob hunting him that day — and possibly this Iowa voter — probably would have preferred).
“Don’t take my word for it, read the Constitution,” Pence added while immediately clarifying that he meant no disrespect to this woman, who was apparently untethered from reality.
Throughout the exchange, it was clear that the vice president had rehearsed this answer — presumably due to having been asked this question at other campaign stops — and did not want to ruffle any feathers.
“No vice president in American history ever asserted the authority that you have been convinced that I had,” Pence said.
“And I’m going to tell you, with all due respect, as I have said before and I am saying right now, President Trump was wrong about my authority that day and he is still wrong,” the former vice president concluded.
So why does this exchange show why Pence cannot possibly win the Republican nomination?
It’s not because this lady, who lives in a world of make-believe, won’t vote for him. That’s a given.
No, in this reality, Mike Pence has no chance of winning the nomination because, after giving a succinct and respectful answer to the question of why he did not participate in a coup, at his own campaign event in a state he has to do well in, only a single person applauded what he had to say.